Oil burners beware !

From what I can see, the action is required on those town centres with lots of diesel vehicles, where air pollution is very high for extended periods. There are apparently only 16 UK cities having districts with really bad traffic pollution, though the same rules will apply to other European cities. I hear Athens and Milan are very bad. I hear quite a number of diesel car-owners are dissatisfied with their particle collectors, which need a good fast run to clear them, and some remove or disable the device. I reckon the tax privileges that used to accrue to diesel car drivers will go into a steep reverse.

In Central London, there are vast numbers of black cabs and red buses, so it will cost something to convert or replace them, since they cannot practicably be banned. As there is a so-called congestion charge which keeps out people who pay their own bills, it will be easy to winch up the charges but will not affect the prosperous.

Other busy city centres will perhaps have a less simple job. Maybe they will divert traffic around the really bad spots or limit access in peak hours. The idea of restricting heavy vehicles from the city during the working day was used by the ancient Romans.
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I ran my first diesel in 1959, in the days when lorries and buses left a large plume of black smoke behind them, even back then there were dire warnings of carcinogens form diesel engines but it was actually smoke from coal fires that was causing most of the medical problems - and smog.

I am not suggesting that the emissions are not harmful but they are only a fraction of what they were in the '50s, even accounting for the considerable number of extra vehicles now I still think as suggested that most pollutants come from elsewhere. There are no more vehicles emitting noxious exhaust in a city traffic jam now than there were back then - you can only get a certain number of stationary or almost stationary vehicles in a given space.

There are no more vehicles emitting noxious exhaust in a city traffic jam now than there were back then - you can only get a certain number of stationary or almost stationary vehicles in a given space.


This would suggest a far different picture.


Given more and more space gets given to roads it would be interesting to know how the average emissions of a vehicle between the 50's and now compare.

I have never liked diesels, even the few that are properly maintained stink. Get shot of them. My only problem with binning diesels is the guaranteed rise in petrol prices. :LOL:
they are only a fraction of what they were in the '50s,

There are small parts of 16 UK cities, and of cities in other countries, that have exceptionally high levels of pollution from vehicles, and these are the ones that are to be given special attention. There are many more vehicles on the road than there were sixty years ago, and infinitely more diesel cars.

Coal-fired smog, and factory chimney smoke, has long been dealt with. No reason not to attack the current source of dangerous emissions.
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True but the emissions from individual diesel vehicles is only a fraction of what it was in the '50s, I wonder if the extra numbers compensate for that, perhaps someone has some figures.

I have run diesels for many years mostly on the grounds of economy but they have also proved very reliable, I had a Citroen CX estate in which I covered over 160k miles, the saving in fuel more than paid for the car! Even back then in the '80s diesels were substantially cleaner than the early ones but are much cleaner still now.

"Traditional Diesel Particulate Filter systems consist of a filter material positioned in the exhaust designed to collect solid and liquid particulate matter emissions while allowing the exhaust gases to pass through the ceramic walls. Catalyzed Diesel Particulate Filters (CDPF) are designed not only to achieve collection efficiencies of 90% or greater in terms of mass (over 95% when expressed as number of ultra fine particles), but also to burn off the collected particulate matter into carbon dioxide and water. The incorporation of catalytic coating in CDPFs lowers the temperature at which particulate matter burns. To achieve this auto-ignite and the sustain combustion of collected particulate matter CDPFs must attain a minimum temperature of approximately 250C that can be helped by electrical heating if the engine-out exhaust temperature of a heavy-duty engine does not typically achieve this required temperature level."

I came across this quote from 'Honest John' it states that up to 95% of fine particulates, the ones that are apparently more harmful, can be removed by modern DPFs, but, bear in mind that diesel engines are very much cleaner burning now even without particulate filters than they were 60 years ago and that mutiplies the improvement.

If "Honest John" is right, but we still have severe diesel pollution in certain places, then the measures he mentions have not been enough.

the number of PLG vehicles has increased from 4 million to 34 million. I don't know what emissions per vehicle were 60 years ago.

The information leading to the need to come up with a plan to correct the problem of certain districts in the 16 cities says that NO2 pollution is three times the maximum permitted level. So it certainly needs to be corrected.

I have not seen the figures for particulates pollution. Diesel particulates are especially pernicious because they are so small that they are not filtered out and pass into the lungs. They are very bad for people with breathing difficulties.

"Diesel exhausts do cause cancer, says WHO"
so the problem needs addressing, even though anti-Europeans want to pretend it is a wicked scheme cooked up by dastardly foreigners for their own unspecified ends. This is certainly not a problem unique to the UK.
A while ago, I discussed that the exhaust tail pipe on my DPF'd Audi A1 was amazingly clean. It still is! You can wipe your finger inside - if that's your thing- and no soot is visible. Therefore the DPF works very well. There's no smell when the car is running, only a plume of water vapour when the weather is cold.
Remember the days of leaded petrol? After a run, the tail pipe would be nice and brown, courtesy of the lead tetraethyl deposited on the surface. This was the sign of a 'well running engine', according to those in the know.
Once again, the motorist is about to be beaten into submission, because we are an easy target. I'm going to have to buy a car that will use twice the amount of hydrocarbon fuel that I use at present.
No one wants to excessively pollute, but take a look at the huge volume of aircraft activity.....do the politicians advise us to fly less?
John :)
cutting lead from petrol has done more to reduce brain damage and crime than all the politicians' popular posturing. We all knew it damaged the brains of babies and children but didn't realise the cost to society. To their everlasting shame, the petrol and motor companies, and the lead trade, fought against it. Thank gods for "do-gooders" and "interfering regulations."

It is a bit of a problem for politicians and CPOs, because they like to claim the credit for the drop in crime, but it has happened throughout the world, and in countries with vastly different policies.


or if you prefer




Would anyone want to roll back the clock and demand the freedom to damage babies' brains? It's a great pity that Britain was one of the last to outlaw lead in petrol.

Perhaps in 10 or 20 years we will look at a similar graph for reductions in diesel pollution and in hospital admissions and deaths due to respiratory problems, especially in busy cities. I doubt anyone will demand the right to cause respiratory disease and cancer.
Oh dear, I see some of you have fallen for the great unleaded swindle.

The problem with removing lead from petrol was the host of crap they had to put in it to combat lead removal namely benzene, toluene, xylene, dimethylbenzene or mesitylene. One by-product of U/L is the rather nasty 1,3-butadiene. None of those are healthy additives but strangely ignored by the green do-gooders.

It's just replacing one set of problems with another and there is plenty of research to dispute the drop in lead in blood levels attributed to leaded petrol.

The same greenies have their fingers in their ears when the discussion comes around to the adding of ethanol to fuels these days and the likelihood that will increase past the current E10 stuff.

As for not being stopped from flying, perhaps not but we do get charged through the arse for it......around 60% of my last flight to Australia was tax.
there is plenty of research to dispute the drop in lead in blood levels attributed to leaded petrol.

Do please show us any independent evidence you have. Especially anything that proves the graphs (above) to be false.

Do you, for example, disagree with WHO

"Leaded petrol has caused more exposure to lead than any other source worldwide.
By contaminating air, dust, soil, drinking water and food crops, it has caused
harmfully high human blood lead levels around the world, especially in children"


"The nervous system of the foetus and infant is especially susceptible to lead, which can cross the placenta and penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Lead interferes with neuronal migration, cell proliferation and synapse formation during critical periods of early vulnerability. The consequences are loss of intelligence and disruption of behaviour. Because the brain has little capacity for repair, these effects are permanent and untreatable."

When I was a kid practically all houses were plumbed with lead pipe, we also had proper paint that lasted because it contained lead, many childrens toys contained lead, I spent 50 years as a radio/TV engineer inhaling fumes from lead loaded solder. I have survived 76 years having been surrounded by lead and so have millions of others without apparent ill effect. Both children and adults were much better behaved in those days too, was that the effect of the lead? ;)

35 odd years ago, I worked in a terne coating plant, basically coating steel sheet with a lead / tin alloy for use as car petrol tanks etc.
We had regular blood tests to check for lead in our systems, although coating like that is very low risk in that the alloy is only hot enough to melt and not to vapourise.
Anyway, we were told that the only person had ever been positive for these tests (still at a pretty low level I believe) and he had been working as a mechanic, and had been exposed to car exhausts. So that's a practical demonstration of how lead can get into a person from car exhaust fumes.

The reality is though that there's nothing "green" about road vehicles no matter how much various political bodies fiddle around the edges with legislation to make them less polluting.
There's nothing green about moving stuff and people around the world in great numbers, or making that stuff in the first place.
We behave as if when we have screwed this planet up, somebody will give us another. We have wars that apart from the suffering they cause, use resources in a totally reckless manner. We stockpile weapons which could, and still may be the instrument of the total annihilation of life on this planet.

What i am trying to say is there may well be a lot more to worry about than whether the diesel engine in my car is causing pollution.

So while I'd agree with John above that I don't want to needlessly pollute, I shall carry on doing what I want to, or at least what I can afford to do, without worrying too much about it.
Me too!
I'm still using Tesco plastic carrier bags too....which is also a heinous crime apparently.
John :)
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